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What Are the 11 Different Types of Door Locks in 2023?

Photo collage of door locks, smart lock, finger access, key cylinder

Quicklist: Types of Door Locks

  1. Door Knob Locks
  2. Handlesets
  3. Hand Levers
  4. Deadbolts
  5. Barrel Bolt
  6. Chain Lock
  7. Cam Locks
  8. Simple Padlocks
  9. Circular Padlocks
  10. Electronic / Smart Locks
  11. Child-Proof Locks

There are many types of door locks because there are different levels of security and different types of doors for which you need to lock.

Whether you’re locking a front door, pocket door or cabinet door, you want the best locking system for the job. Below we set out 10 door lock options.

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Door Lock Buying Guide

Door locks are an essential part of a home, keeping your family, house, and belongings safe. When you make a trip to the hardware store, though, you’ll find several types of locks in various shapes, sizes and designs. What one is the right one for your home?

See our diagrams showcasing the different parts of a door, frame, knob and hinge here.

Our guide to door locks will help you decipher the differences between locks so that you can find the right kind for your external and internal doors. After all, your office door won’t need the same type of lock as your front door.

Let’s first look at the parts of a door lock so that you can understand how they work together to create the lock.

Parts of a Door Lock

If you ever need to replace locks on your doors, you’ll need to know the individual names for parts, their importance for the overall mechanism, and how they help the other parts work to lock the door.

Depending on the type of door lock, which we’ll get to in a moment, the parts may differ in appearance and how they work. Generally, though, these are the standard parts of door locks that you’ll see in most standard locks.

1. Cylinder

Cylinder Lock with schlage keyway and 5 pin tumbler lock.Source: Amazon

The cylinder is the part of the lock where the key goes. Your key must fit the cylinder correctly, which will permit you to open the lock. Even a slightly misshapen key will result in the cylinder keeping the lock from unlocking.

The cylinder contains several spring-loaded pins that move when you place the key inside. If you insert the correct key, the pins will move as the key moves further into the cylinder, prompting the lock to unlock by opening the bolt using electronic door locks.

In some cases, you can replace a damaged cylinder. This is a good option if the full door lock mechanism will be expensive to replace. But, it’s often less expensive to purchase a new lock.


A. Single Cylinder

Single cylinder door lock with a satin and tamper-resistant shutter guard.Source: Amazon

Single cylinder locks only have a space for a key on one side. The other side has a twist knob that locks the door from the other side. The key side is on the external part of the door, while the internal part has the knob so that you can lock your door from the inside without a key.

B. Double Cylinder

Double cylinder deadbolt lock with zinc alloy deadbolt latch and satin stainless steel finish.Source: Amazon

Double cylinder locks do knot have a twist knob and require a key on either side. These locks are good for places where you don’t want anyone to be able to lock the door from the inside without a key, such as a public restroom.

2. Bolt/Latch

Door security bolt with body length 60mm in brass finish.

Source: Amazon

When the key fits the cylinder, the pins inside the cylinder move, engaging the bolt — sometimes called a latch — within the door lock. This is the part of the lock that moves in and out and rests in the carved-out part of the door frame, known as the box, when the door is locked, keeping it in place.

There are two main types of bolts you’ll see: the deadbolt and spring bolt.

A. Deadbolt

A deadbolt lock is one that you must lock yourself. This is the type of lock that will have a cylinder that requires the correct key to open it. Deadbolts are considered to be safer and more durable than spring bolts, which is why most homes and businesses opt for them, or a combination of the two.

B. Spring Bolt

Spring bolts have a small clip that holds them in place. When the key moves the pins in the cylinder, the clip will compress, which unlocks the bolt and allows it to move back inside the lock to open the door.

The act of closing the door causes the spring to release, which moves the bolt back in place to keep the door closed. Most of the time, spring bolt locks will lock on their own when you close the door, much like the type of lock you’d find on a hotel door.

These are good options for additional security for people who may forget to lock the door behind them.

3. Strike Plate

Door strike plate in satin nickel finish.

Source: Amazon

The strike plate is where the lock attaches to the door frame to keep the door in position when you lock it. This piece is a simple, metal part that you can screw to the door frame and is the easiest part of a lock to replace if it becomes damaged.


The box is the part of the door frame where the bolt latches. The box is usually a small, squarish hole designed to fit the bolt. Most bolts are similar in size, making the box a similar size that can fit most locks in the home.

Different Types of Door Locks

You can use different types of door knob locks for a variety of purposes. Some locks are better to use on doors leading to the outside of your home because they provide more security to keep intruders from entering.

Other locks are good for keeping doors within your home secure, like bathroom and closet doors. They provide just enough security to keep others out, but without the safety level needed for outside doors.

Some locks are ones you can lock from the outside of the door, others are only for locking from the inside of your door, while others are ones you can lock from either the outside or inside.

The following are several of the types of door locks you might find and how they differ from one another:

1. Door Knob Locks

Ball style key entry door knob with durable all metal construction and an anti-pry shield.

Source: Amazon

Door knob locks are, perhaps, the most common type of lock you’ll see on homes, especially on inner doors, like bathrooms and bedrooms. They’re also often one of the kinds to grace the front door, in combination with a deadbolt or other, more secure, lock.

Door knob locks have the locking mechanism within the door knob. These locks have knobs on either side of the door and can have a single or double cylinder, depending on whether you’d like the door to lock from the inside or not.

2. Handlesets

Single cylinder handle set with cove knob and adjustable latch to fit all standard doors.

Source: Amazon

Handleset locks have a handle on the external side and either a keyed opening or twist knob on the internal side with which to lock it. This type of lock features a deadbolt rather than spring bolt for extra security. These serve a similar purpose as a door knob lock but can provide a more appealing look to the exterior of a home.

3. Hand Levers

Door lever lock left hand with adjustable for 1-3/8” – 1-3/4” door thickness and easy to install.Source: Amazon

Hand levers are an excellent choice for inside doors, like closets or basement doors. They feature a simple handle lever on one side and a twist knob on the other.

These locks don’t provide as much security as others, so they’re not an ideal option for entry doors. But, they do allow you to open doors quickly with one hand, which is useful when you’re carrying groceries or laundry through the home.

4. Deadbolts

Single cylinder fire rated deadbolt with hardened steel roller and corrosion resistant.

Source: Amazon

Deadbolt locks are a separate mechanism from the door knob, which gives your entry doors an additional layer of security. Many home and business owners choose to have both a doorknob lock and deadbolt on their entry doors to prevent the risk of intruders.

Deadbolts can reduce the risk of forced entry by creating a secure lock system that makes it nearly impossible for a burglar to break in through the door. Deadbolts can be both single and double cylinder designs, with double cylinder offering even more protection from unauthorized persons gaining access to the home.

5. Barrel Bolt

Barrel bolt with durable steel case and vertical, horizontal, left or right hand applications.Source: Amazon

A barrel bolt, also known as a sliding bolt, goes on the inside of the door to keep you safe when you’re in your home with your family. This lock has two pieces: one that goes on the door frame and the other main locking assembly that goes on the door.

The main assembly has a cylindrical lock that you can slide into the catch to lock the door from the inside. Some people choose to install one at the top of the door and another at the bottom for extra safety.

6. Chain Lock

Chain door guard with 5/16 inch solid brass construction and 6-inch long chain length.

Source: Amazon

Chain locks are ones you usually see on the inside of hotel doors. These locks have a catch on the door frame and a main locking assembly on the door, much like a barrel bolt, but use a chain to lock the door instead of the cylinder piece.

The idea of the chain lock is to allow you to open the door slightly to greet someone while still keeping the door closed. A person won’t be able to come inside until you close the door and release the chain, allowing you to open the door all the way.

7. Cam Locks

Keyed cam lock with chrome plating and round face.

Source: Amazon

You’ll usually find cam locks in filing cabinets, mailboxes, lockers, and low-security bank deposit boxes. The cam lock is a simplified version of other locks, requiring a key to turn a cam, which locks and unlocks it. Cam locks can be either flat or tubular, with keys of the same shape necessary to open them.

8. Simple Padlocks

Simple padlock with 2.1 pounds weight and 5 x 3 x 18 inches dimension.

Source: Amazon

Padlocks are one of the simplest types of door locks. You’ll typically see these locks on doors that don’t need high-level security, like shed and storage unit doors. These locks aren’t attached to anything else but instead lock into themselves.

Padlocks can be small or large and usually are square or rectangle-shaped with a U-shaped bar. One end of the bar stays in the lock but moves up and down to allow the other side to lock and release.

9. Circular Padlocks

Heavy duty round padlock with corrosion resistant stainless steel, weatherproof, rust proof and sawing or cutting resistance.

Source: Amazon

A circular padlock, or disc padlock, is another type of padlock that offers a bit more protection for people who want a more secure shed or storage unit. They’re also detached from the doors they lock but are thicker and more challenging to break than a regular padlock.

A circular padlock has a curved bar that protrudes from one side of the lock, moves through the handles on the door, and locks back into itself to prevent the door from opening.

10. Electronic Locks

Electronic deadbolt lock with touch screen feature.

Source: Amazon

Electronic locks are ones that don’t require keys to lock and unlock them. Instead, they have a keypad or card system in which you can use a special code or key to unlock the door. Most of the time, these locks lock the door automatically. You’ll usually find electronic locks in hotel rooms, schools and offices.

Many electronic locks do have a combination key system, too, that you can use a regular key with if you forget your code or card key. These locks usually operate on batteries that can last for a long time.

Some electronic locks even come with a remote entry system in which you can open the lock for known guests using your smartphone or computer when you’re away from home.

Smart Locks and Systems

Smart locks are the newest breed of door locks to enter the scene. With this type of lock, a smartphone acts as the key, allowing remote access to your home from virtually anywhere in the world.

These locks are often more than just locks, though. Some smart locks can be a part of a full system of video and audio monitoring and other smart features that give you ultimate control over your home.

Most smart locks still have a keyhole included so that you can use it when you come home, rather than unlocking the door via a connected app.

The three main types of smart door locks are:

A. Bluetooth

Bluetooth is currently the most common connection for smart locks. These locks connect directly to your smartphone, so you don’t need any hub in between to make the connection.

Bluetooth makes some exciting features possible, like allowing your lock to automatically sense your Bluetooth device when you’re within range, causing it to unlock itself when you arrive home.

The downfall of this connection is that, once you’re out of range, you can’t control your lock.

B. Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is another connection option that many smart lock manufacturers are offering for their systems. Wi-Fi connection lets you control your device from anywhere, so long as you stay connected to the internet. Even if you’re at work, you can let someone in your home using your device.

However, Wi-Fi locks tend to drain batteries much faster than Bluetooth-enabled locks, sometimes requiring you to change batteries every month or so.

C. Z-Wave

Z-Wave locks require a hub to connect to, which then allows you to connect to the lock with your internet-connected mobile device. It’s like a cross between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi locks.

Z-Wave smart locks will need to be within a specific range from the hub to work. Signal range extenders may help strengthen the signal if you can’t have the hub within range.

11. Child-Proof Locks

Child-proof locks, or child safety locks, are another kind of lock that you can use on several types of doors within the home to keep little fingers out.

These aren’t necessarily for security, but more for the safety of young children who could harm themselves by getting into the contents of the refrigerator, cabinets, or other things in the kitchen.

According to, the leading cause of death in children up to age 14 is an accidental injury. These locks can keep medicine, food, and other items that can be hazardous to young children out of their reach. Additionally, some door locks can keep kids out of closets or away from unsafe stairways.

A. Refrigerator Door Locks

Refrigerator door lock with secure adhesive mount.

Source: Amazon

Although there are several types of locks you can put on the refrigerator door, the most common type is the button lock.

This lock has one side with a button mounted on the refrigerator door that clasps the hook of the other side, which mounts onto the refrigerator. A parent can press the button to release the clasp, allowing the door to open.

B. Cabinet Locks

Cabinet lock safety catches with super-durable catches and completely childproof.

Source: Amazon

Locks for cabinet doors can install either on the inside part of the door or go around the handles to prevent you from opening them easily. The most common type is the inner-door lock, which attaches to the top of the inner part of the cabinet and hooks into a piece you install on the door, or vice versa.

The door opens slightly to allow you to press down on the lock, freeing the hook from the receiving part of the lock.

C. Oven Door Locks

Safety Cabinet Lock with strong adhesive 3m stickers and baby safety lock.

Source: Amazon

Parents use oven door locks to keep young children from pulling themselves up on the oven door, or opening it out of curiosity when it’s in use to prevent severe burns and injuries.

The most popular type of lock for oven doors is a no-drill lock with two adhesive pieces, one detached and one attached to the locking piece. One part connects to the oven door, and the other attaches to the oven. A small lock grasps the detached button-like portion to lock and flips up to unlock the door.

You can use this kind of lock for cabinets, refrigerators and more.

D. Door Top Locks

Child proof deluxe door top lock that fits standard doors and easy to install.

Source: Amazon

Top locks for doors are high enough that young children can’t reach them. These locks are good options for parents with kids who have figured out how to open baby gates and other child-proofing systems.

You install these at the very top of the door and pull on a hanging latch to unlock it. You can also unlock the door from either side to prevent locking yourself in or out.

More Details about Door Locks

There are a few more critical things you should know before venturing out to find the right door lock for your home and family, like lock grades and taking the proper measurements for your lock.

1. Measuring for a Door Lock

Finding the right lock for your door relies on the proper backset measurement. This is the measurement from the very edge of the door to the center of the hole for the locking mechanism. The most common backset measurements for residential locks are two and 3/4 inches and two and 3/8 inches.

You should also measure the lock bore and lock spacing. The locking bore is the diameter of the hole where the lock will sit, the same hole you used for the backset measurement.

The lock spacing measurement is the distance between the two holes of locks you have on your door, presuming you have a standard doorknob lock and a deadbolt. If you have only one lock on your door, you won’t need a lock spacing measurement.

A. Door Handing

Door handing refers to the way in which your door opens. This is vital information to know before you purchase a lock because it will affect the type of lock you need since the bolt will need to face the right direction.

Look at the hinges of your door. Doors with hinges on the left side will need a left-handed lock, typically noted with LH on the packaging. Doors with right-side hinges will need a right-handed lock, indicated by RH on the packaging.

B. Lock Grades

The lock grade is a significant number to which to pay attention. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) assigns grades to locks that reflect how well you can expect them to perform over time. The grades range from 3 to 1, with 3 reflecting basic security and 1 reflecting top-level security.

You can expect lower-grade locks to wear out after a shorter period. They may be less expensive, but you’ll likely have to replace them more often. Additionally, Grade 3 locks may not provide as much security for your home as Grade 2 or Grade 1 locks will.

Photo of keyless door lock with card entry

Best Type of Door Lock for Various Purposes


Ideal Security Sliding Patio Door Security Bar with Child-Proof Lock, Extendable, White (25.75-47.5 Inches)

Keeping children from opening doors can be easier said than done sometimes, because they’re quite clever when it comes to doing things they’re not supposed to. Fortunately, there are several types of door locks that will prevent them from opening doors they shouldn’t.

The best childproof door lock comes in the form of a door knob cover. With this type of lock, children can’t open doors because they lack the power and their hands are too small for the complicated method of opening.

If you have a patio door that needs to stay closed, a childproof lock made specifically for these doors is what you need. This is where the security bar with a built-in childproof lock comes in. They can be installed in the middle of the door and will keep children from sliding the patio doors open.

French Doors

Sumnacon 2Pcs 6 Inch Door Bolts - Stainless Steel Concealed Security French Door Locks with Hardwares, Metal Flush Latch Bolts for Composite Wood Double Dummy Door, Black

Keeping French doors locked when you don’t want to be disturbed depends on the round holes where the door locks are installed, which are known as bore holes.

French doors without bore holes will require non-turning door knobs or levers for the interior side. If the doors have one hole, lockable Schlage Georgian knobs are best, and if there are two bore holes, a single-cylinder mechanical deadbolt should be the lock you go for.

Some French doors have three bore holes, and for these doors, a handle set with a deadbolt on one side is the best option.

Front Door

Fingerprint Door Lock - TEEHO TE002 Keyless Entry Door Lock with Keypad - Electronic Deadbolt Keyed Entry - Front Door Lock Sets - Combination Door Lock - Easy Installation - Satin Nickel

There are many different locks to choose from, but deadbolts are a good bet if you want something that is difficult to pick and can endure kick-ins without breaking.

Door locks with keypads are also popular choices and they often work with a connection to your smartphone or the internet. These electronic deadbolts are also resistant to picking and are very difficult to drill or break.

Privacy (Bedroom/Bathroom)

Fingerprint Door Lock - Finger Print Lock on Door, Bedroom Door Lock, Keypad Door Lock with Handle, 3 in 1 Fingerprint/Code/Key Smart Fingerprint Door Handle for Home Office

If you want to keep your bedroom or bathroom private with a lock, you’ve got several options to pick and choose from. The most popular and reliable lock is the turn button privacy lock. It’s also a very affordable option.

Privacy push pin/button locks are also quite popular and they have a push pin or button on the door knob or lever’s rosette. They’re not difficult to operate but will give you privacy as you need it.


Keyless Entry Door Lock, Keypad Door Lock, Keyless Door Lock, Fingerprint Door Lock, Biometric Door Lock, Keypad Entry Door Lock, Passcode Code Door Lock, Digital Smart Door Lock (Smart Lock)

There are countless brands selling keypads that are both easy to use and affordable, and it really comes down to preference in choosing the best one. If you want to be sure that you’re going to be safe and secure with a keypad, look out for one that has touchscreen buttons that are easy to press, even if you have gloves on.

Also, look out for customizations that will make your locking experience simple and effective. Extra safety features such as automatic locking once the door is closed are also recommended.

Home Assistant 

Not all smart locks will work well with home assistant networks, but if you look at the lock’s description, you should be able to tell if it’s compatible. With that said, there are actually really good smart locks that can support voice controls very well and work as stand-alone locks.

Some of the best locks connect directly to Wi-Fi networks, while others work only off Bluetooth. Which one you choose depends on what experience you’re looking for.



Master Lock Outdoor Combination Lock, Heavy Duty Weatherproof Padlock, Resettable Combination Lock for Outdoor Use, M175XDLF

Keeping all your equipment and expensive items in your shed protected requires a reliable and robust lock. A good padlock is typically the best type of lock for this purpose thanks to the hardened steel shackles and sturdy cores most of them come with.

Alternatively, rim locks are a good idea for sheds and they offer good security. Just keep in mind that some of them can be forced open.

Top Brands of Door Locks

Regardless of where in the world you reside, door locks are a requirement for your home. Since they play a critical security role, the brand you choose to remain safe is essential. There’s no use in installing an expensive door if you don’t use a reputable and trusted door lock brand.

When considering the most trusted door lock brands, that doesn’t mean the brand you trust the most. Instead, it would be best to consider those others brands trusted the most based on firsthand experiences, statistics and expert reviews.

Before running out to purchase a new door lock, it’s important to read through the following top brands:


Yale Assure Lock Touchscreen, Wi-Fi Smart Lock - Works with the Yale Access App, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, Phillips Hue and Samsung SmartThings, Satin Nickel

Yale has an excellent reputation within the locksmith community since they are the inventors of the modern pin tumbler lock. This means that all fantastic brands have been standing on the shoulders of Yale for many years using the design of Henry R. Towne and Linus Yale, Jr.


Baldwin Spyglass Passage Lever for Hall or Closet Door Handle in Matte Black Featuring Microban Antimicrobial Protection, Prestige Series with a Modern Contemporary Slim Design (93520-013)

When navigating home improvement stores, you will likely come across a Baldwin door lock, the most widely available decent-quality product. Baldwin locks fall right in the middle with a solid construction, but the lock cylinder can be bumped, and professionals can easily pick it.

However, the average criminal won’t be able to pick this lock, so unless you’re holding millions of dollars worth of diamonds in your home, this brand is good enough for essential protection.

RR Brink

BRINKS - Combo Entry Keyed Door Knob and Deadbolt Lock Set, Polished Brass - Pick, Bump and Drill Resistant and Comes with an Anti-Pry Shield

RR Brink is one of the few trusted companies that designs and manufactures prison locks within the U.S. These locks were created to keep dangerous individuals securely stored from the outside world.

Therefore, when you want to keep the wrong people from opening a door, RR Brink is one of the best brands to trust. Like several others on this list, RR Brink locks are highly complicated and particularly challenging to pick, but they can still be opened.


MUL-T-LOCK Interactive+ High Security Grade 1 Single Cylinder Deadbolt. B60N Body. Includes Key Duplication Card and 2 Keys (1, Satin Nickel)

Mul-T-Lock has done an excellent job of getting its name known in the market. Many trust this lock simply because the logo is a bicep flex silhouette. Luckily, the company backs up its logo by delivering highly secure locks typically integrated with an active element, thus making them challenging to pick. In addition, the solid construction and good cores contribute significantly to the security provided by Mul-T-Locks.


Although Evva may not be a brand most know, it’s highly trusted within the security world because of its MCS model, a complicated magnetic key system that has never been picked. In the future, even if the lock ends up being picked, it’s tough to open.

In addition to delivering this highly effective product, Evva offers other quality door security products, many with magnetic pins in the keyway. As a result, within the locksmith and lock-picking communities, there is an exceptional amount of brand trust.


Medeco 11TR50319 Maxum Residential Single Cylinder Deadbolt, Satin Nickel, High Security Restricted M3 Keyway, Keyed Different

Always considered one of the top lock brands, Medeco sits on the highest pedestal by presenting a lock that is complicated to pick. However, the locks are strong and durable, with the best versions found in models after 2011.

Before 2011, every new design update made the locks less secure, so it’s important to stick to the latest possible models to provide the highest security level.


If you trust Corbin Russwin, Yale, Mul-T-Lock, or Medeco, then you should trust ASSA-Abloy, the parent company of these other brands. ASSA-Abloy manufactures and owns the locks for each brand, all of which have made this list.

Other brands manufactured by this organization include Lockwood, Adams Rite, Rixson, Besam, Elsafe, Ameristar, Fargo Electronics, Arrow Lock and Door Hardware, and Union.

In addition, ASSA-Abloy has a hand in numerous security hardware types, with their door locks being some of the most popular. Within the security world, trust among consumers equates to security.

Finding one that fits your needs is crucial when deciding between the most trusted and best brands. To determine the level of security required, experts suggested performing a risk assessment for the property which unveils different vulnerabilities around your home.

For example, while a good door lock will always further secure your home, perhaps other areas need strengthening first. In summary, don’t be a lemming; turn away from walking off the cliff to a mediocre but popular brand and invest in those with better security.

Where to Buy Door Locks

While locksmithing might seem like an archaic or outdated profession, the truth is that as long as humans need locks (which will be, presumably, forever), we need locksmiths.

Although big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes may try to drive small locksmithing shops out of business, the large commercial retailers will never be able to beat the attention to detail and skill that a locksmith has.

If you’re trying to get a lock for a certain kind of door, or you have a specific type of lock you want to purchase, a locksmith will be able to work with you to fashion the perfect lock to suit your needs.

While it may take more time and energy to locate your local locksmith than it would to waltz into a big commercial retailer, it can pay to put extra effort and hours into getting your lock just right.

When you buy from big box stores, you risk having to return your items because they don’t meet the expectations you had or because they are simply the wrong product. Working with a locksmith almost guarantees that you will get your lock selection right on the first time, which will save you time and money in the long run.

For those who are new to home improvement or locks, a locksmith is an invaluable resource who can help you assess what exactly you need and how to achieve your goals for this home improvement project.

Locksmiths can order items from the manufacturer for you and help you understand how to properly install and use the lock. If there’s an issue with the item, they can work with you to return it to the manufacturer and replace it with the same part or a more appropriate product.

Beyond their expertise and helpful demeanor, local locksmiths usually tend to be more affordable than other options for buying locks. This is partially because many of them are trying to compete with big box stores and other retailers.

They are also usually members of your community who feel invested in making their services accessible to the folks around them. When you purchase a lock from your local locksmith, you help a community member. In the future, you’ll have someone in your corner to help solve lock problems, too.

Or, you can check out online retailers with strong reputations

When you’re looking for a lock and you have some industry know-how under your belt, reputable online sellers might be your best bet. Online retailers have a wider selection of locks than your local stores might.

Additionally, you can find brands online that might be trickier to find in brick-and-mortar locations. The only downside to buying locks fromonline retailers is that there are sometimes too many options and it can be hard to cut through the shoddy locks to find the good ones.

Also, shoppers sometimes write rave reviews about locks that are mediocre at best and completely ineffective at worst. Still, if you have specific brands and types of locks that you like to use, shopping for them online might be the fastest, cheapest, and most convenient way to get them.

Online is not necessarily reliable, so be cautious. As shares, “…some large and well-known websites with zero knowledge of security products and deadbolts are making lists promoting poor quality locks and providing unrealistic expectations of those locks — which is dangerous.”

You can also find what you need at the following online retailers:

Or, you can buy your locks directly from a manufacturer

If you are very experienced in this industry, buying your locks directly from the manufacturer might be the right choice for you.

When you cut out the middleman of a locksmith or online retailer, you do risk running into issues with the locks because you won’t have anyone to help you select the lock or solve problems once the lock arrives.

Still, despite the elevated costs and risk, buying your locks from the manufacturers themselves can be necessary in certain cases.

As points out, “If you are going to choose to go with a smart lock over more traditional door locks, you may end up needing to purchase the lock through the company itself. This is true with all products that are relatively cutting edge. No one else carries them, so the company is not just one of the best places to buy door locks, it may be the only place to buy the lock.”


Door Lock Mechanism graphic


Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Door Locks Work?

There are a variety of locks available, based on the type of door you wish to lock.

A basic pin-and-tumbler lock consists of several spring-loaded pins within sets of cylinders. When the key designed to fit the lock is inserted, the properly aligned teeth/notches allow the spring-loaded pins to move, ultimately meeting what is called the shear line.

Each key is created with different ridge patterns, which will only fit a specific lock.

What is the Best Lubricant for Door Locks?

It is best to use a lubricant designed specifically for a lock. Most experts suggest using a synthetic, dry, non-oily lubricant/protectant. This synthetic lubricant helps to repel dirt or dust — or any other debris that may be transferred from the lining of a pocket.

This lubricant repels dust or sand and will help ensure the lock works effortlessly, without getting sticky or problematic.  

How Do Portable Door Locks Work?

As its name suggests, a portable door lock is an added (or secondary) security device that can be used by renters, business travelers while on the road, families on vacation, or anywhere you think it is a good idea to increase your personal security.

A portable door lock will not damage the door or frame that it is used on. But note that a portable door lock can only be used when you are in the room you are locking. If you are traveling with others who are sharing the same accommodations, remember that there is no way to unlock a portable door lock from outside the room.

How Do Sliding Door Locks Work?

Because a sliding glass door operates differently from other doors, sliders must be locked using a door lock specially designed for its unique design. Sliding doors are a great option in tight spaces because there is no need to worry about which way a door will swing.

Sliding door locks are available in a variety of styles. Among the more popular sliding-door locks are –

  • Mortise Locks –the most secure and most popular of residential locks.
  • Double-Bolt Lock – requires a key on either side of the door.
  • Offset Thumb Turn Lock – is reversible for left or right opening doors.
  • Loop-Lock – adds security, if desired.
  • Plus, many other options, depending on your needs.

Do House Door Locks Freeze? If So, At What Temperature?

Yes, the lock to an outside door to a house may freeze if conditions warrant. Locks tend to freeze when water vapor (in high humidity) condenses on the lock’s mechanism. When outside temps drop below freezing, the condensed water turns to ice, essentially freezing the lock’s moving parts.

Locks will begin to freeze when temperatures fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, which translates to 0 degrees on the Celsius scale, or as it is sometimes known, the Centigrade (0 – 100) scale.

Another factor that may impact the workings of a house door lock is the humidity and temperature impacting wooden door frames, which may contract (in freezing temps) or expand (in high humid conditions) enough to affect how the lock works.

How Long Do Front Door Locks Last?

To ensure a mechanical device operates correctly — and to use it for its expected useful life, it must be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.  

The front door lock is no exception. Most industry professionals generally agree that, on average, most residential locks — even mid-priced hardware store quality door locks, have a lifespan of around seven years. Some locks, given their limited usage, may last longer.

There are other important reasons to change the lock to a front a door that have nothing to do with how well the locks work. These include: 

  • Missing or lost keys aren’t always of great concern unless the keys that were lost were found with other identifying information.
  • If your living situation has changed (a divorce, a separation, or a roommate change), it may be wise to change the locks preventatively.
  • You simply want to upgrade to a more secure front door lock.

When were door locks invented?

Door locks were first invented during ancient Egypt, 6,000 years ago, when a wooden pin lock was used to keep doors secure.

When a key was inserted into the lock, pins lifted up and out of drilled holes inside the bolt, allowing the mechanism to move and the door to open. The earliest discovered door lock was found in the ruins of the capital of ancient Assyria.

Are all door locks the same size?

No, not all door locks are the same size, but the size you need depends on where you live. In the United States, there are two common residential door lock sizes: two and 3/8 inches and two and ¾ inches.

The lock should be paired with a latch of the same size, which will depend on the type and size of the door lock backset you use.

A standard deadbolt diameter is approximately one inch with a faceplate height of about two and ¼ inches. If you’re in doubt about what door lock size you need, consult with a professional locksmith.


Hopefully, this guide helped you learn all about the parts and types of door locks on the market and how they differ from each other. Whether you want high-security locks for the front door or some child-proof door locks for your appliances.